Brilliant Integration of the iPad

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disclosure: I am the Director of Educational Technology at Mulgrave.

This fall Mulgrave School in Vancouver, Canada, handed iPads to all the Grade 3 classes. Three weeks into the academic program and lead teachers on the project, Melanie Cannon and Shauna Ullman throw down one of the best uses of the iPad I’ve seen yet. Have a look at this Home Reading Clips post where Cannon exlpains how she has her students record themselves reading aloud–at home.:

This is brilliant work. I keep coming up with more reasons why I love this project:

  • The students are working in the safest of places–home (check out the clip with the student reading in his pajamas) so there’s no performance anxiety to mask real student ability. Indeed, Cannon and Ullman report a significant jump in overall engagement and intellectual risk-taking amongst the students after the introduction of the iPad.
  • The students are in control–they can shoot as many takes as they like and submit their best work.
  • They own their content and will be able to look back over their work whenever they like.
  • In a Digital-Learning-Farm-ish move, the students do the the heavy lifting, essentially doing their own record keeping. I think this will build ownership.
  • The teachers get a comprehensive video record of student development over the year which, as Cannon points out, will be far more valuable than a set of hurried notes take while the student is reading.
  • The activity makes classroom learning transparent to families.
  • The whole thing is so light; there’s nothing complciated here. Even a Grade 3 kid can do it!
  • It is teacher-generated, not committee- or department- or admin-generated. I think the best way to develop best practices in education is for admin and IT to creat a fertile ground for creativity and then give the teachers the opportunity–and responsibility–to innovate.

Cannon (@West_Coastal) and Ullman (@ShaunaUllman) and their students and families are on fire here. Their blogs–raw and honest–are worth following.

Lessons Learned in the Think Global School: A Podcast with Brad Ovenell-Carter

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In this podcast, Alan November has a conversation with Brad Ovenell-Carter, School Head of the Think Global School. This traveling school takes a global contingency of students on a journey through various countries as they learn about the world around them as well as dig deeply into a rich curriculum.

Alan and Brad discuss the uniqueness of this school, the real work students are doing as they build curriculum and resources along with their teachers as well as the lessons they have learned that can impact any school.

Brad will be a presenter at the BLC11 conference being held this July in Boston. Click here for more information.

Students as Contributors: A Podcast with Silvia Tolisano

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In this podcast, Alan interviews Silvia Tolisano, 21st Century Learning Specialist, along with other administrators, teachers and students at Martin J. Gottlieb School. Here, students are being encouraged to take more of a leadership role in their learning as they take part in a variety of jobs inspired by Alan November’s article, Students as Contributors: The Digital Learning Farm.

The jobs these students are doing give them a great deal of responsibility and provide them with authentic tasks that result in meaningful content that supplements their learning and connects them with experts from around the world.

Silvia will be a presenter at the 2011 Building Learning Communities Conference. Click here for more information and to register.

Student Scribes with Darren Kuropatwa – Part 3 of 3

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In this final segment of Alan’s conversation with Darren Kuropatwa, the discussion shifts to classwork and homework assignments. Specifically, the two emphasize the need for change in the types of assignments teachers give to best make use of the content to which students now have access.

Darren has been a presenter at our Building Learning Communities conference.

Student Scribes with Darren Kuropatwa – Part 2 of 3

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In our previous episode with Darren Kuropatwa, Alan and darren discussed what impact having students publish to a global audience has had on them and on his classroom. In this episode, they continue by talking about how this publication has also led to a shift of control that fundamentally changes teaching and learning.

Alan and Darren also discuss the issues around professional development and personal development that need to be addressed to achieve building a classroom experience like the one he describes.

Darren has been a presenter at our Building Learning Communities conference.

Student Scribes with Darren Kuropatwa – Part 1 of 3

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In a continuation of our series on student learning jobs, Alan speaks with Darren Kuropatwa, math teacher at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In the first part of this conversation, the two discuss Darren’s student scribe program, its impact within his classes, how he manages them and uses them as a part of his teaching and how global publication of student work has engaged his students and enhanced his classroom.

Darren has been a presenter at our Building Learning Communities conference.

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